Americans are conserving water in their homes like never before, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report released this month.
In per capita terms, domestic water use has plummeted from 112 gallons per day in 1980 to just 82 gallons in 2015, a 27 percent decrease. Take 30 gallon-sized milk jugs, fill them up with water and set them aside — that’s how much water you’re saving, every day, relative to the average American in 1980. For a typical family of four that means about a half-ton of water saved, or eight cubic feet, every single day relative to 1980.
For the purposes of the USGS data, domestic water use encompasses everything we do with water at home. “Common indoor water uses are drinking, food preparation, washing clothes and dishes, bathing, and flushing toilets,” the report explains. “Common outdoor uses are watering lawns and gardens or maintaining pools, ponds, or other landscape features in a domestic environment.”